“Not So Fast” on New Fleeing Policy

Police: New "fleeing" policy only under consideration

The Chicago Police Department is backing off a controversial change in policy that would have allowed officers to fire on vehicles fleeing from a crime scene.

Police brass are now saying the policy change is only under consideration.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reported that Police Department spokesman Roderick Drew told her the new police would take effect next Monday. Drew also discussed the policy during a subsequent radio interview on Newsradio 780 WBBM.

"It gives department members the option of taking off a dangerous member, someone who has either created or committed a serious offense or could commit a serious offense if he or she is allowed to flee the scene," Drew said.

But, the change was apparently not cleared with the powers that be at City Hall, a no-no for any Chicago police superintendent, the Sun-Times' Fran Spielman wrote Wednesday.

And Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Mark Donahue said the union wasn't even consulted on the policy change.

Indeed, many members of the City Council weren't pleased when they got wind of the proposal, and Ald. Ike Carothers (29th), quickly introduced an ordinance that would require Council approval before any change in general orders concerning the use of deadly force.

Mayor Richard Daley told reporters that Weis' policy group had "not changed anything,"  and instead were only trying to reconcile conflicting orders.

Officers already have the right to shoot in instances of self-defense, but "to go further than that, the liability could be tremendous," Carothers said.

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